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Thomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thomas Hooker Munich-Style LagerThomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

118 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 118
Hads: 176
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 14.36%
Wants: 38
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UnionMade on 09-27-2003

A true Helles style, our lager is golden in color with a pleasant, malty aroma balanced by a rich, smooth flavor. Using only the finest Bavarian malts and finished with Saaz hops, one sip will make you feel like you're in one of Germany's finest beer gardens.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 118 | Hads: 176
Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at bmanning's wedding rehearsal dinner. Served in a beer boot, courtesy of bmanning. Thanks, Ben!

Pour yields a good white head of foam and some spotty lacing on the way down. The nose brings a nice subtle noble hoppiness plus light grain and a bit of bread. Excellent balance between all the components. The flavor is very nice as well with a good lightly-sweetened malt presence and a good level of hop flavor and bitterness to cut through the malt character. Light body and really crisp. Great dry finish and a high amount of carbonation. Really, really solid beer. Thomas Hooker seriously knows how to make lagers. Great way to say cheers.

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Photo of brentk56
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a bounteous head that lasts forever and deposits wands of lacing around the glass

Smell: Doughy aroma, slightly sweet

Taste: Starts with a slightly sweet biscuity flavor; after the swallow, a touch of herbacious bitterness kicks in to provide balance to this clean, slightly sweet brew

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: Not being a lager drinker, this is not one of my favorite styles; however, this is a very well made example of a Munich Helles

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Harvest gold with a small splash of tangerine. Atop the beer rests a smallish cap of ivory colored foam whose upper surface features hundreds of glassine bubbles that are busy popping in rapid succession. A thick collar of lace adds to the visual appeal.

The aroma is both 'bass line' pale malty and 'top note' brightly hoppy. I'm thrilled that I don't have to inhale the beer to appreciate what the nose has to offer. Golden Lager smells like it will be one of the best versions of this style that I've ever had. Here's hoping.

This is wonderful beer. As in the nose, malt and hops dovetail beautifully. From a start that favors the former to a finish that favors the latter. How is it that the best craft brewers are able to inject such depth and personality into the simplest of styles? I guess that's why they're the best craft brewers. Kudos to Troutbrook/Thomas Hooker.

The malt side of the flavor profile tastes like lightly buttered, lightly sweet, sun-riped cereal grains. Another obvious comparison is a slice of yeasty French bread, straight from the oven (except cooler). The hop side of the flavor profile is German nobles on parade. Grassy, spicy and herbal are all present, as is a hint of bitter lemon. This is a beautifully balanced lager.

The brewery describes the flavor as 'delicate, yet hearty'. I couldn't agree more. Those are also words that I'd use to describe the mouthfeel. It has that telltale lager smoothness, yet is also incredibly... uh... hearty. A subdued amount of carbonation helps to give it a substantial, weighty feel in the mouth. Trust me, drinkability doesn't suffer as a result.

Munich Style Golden Lager is a delicious version of this often overlooked style. It's the best domestic Munich helles that I've had and is easily the equal of the (also exceptional) Ayinger Jahrhundert Bier. Thanks scthaden.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a pale gold color with a thick, foamy, white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The smell is of honey and malt with a tiny bit of hops.

T: Malty, sweet taste of honey & lemon. There’s also an unexpected touch of smokiness that I wasn’t expecting. I’m getting very little hops in this one even as it warms, which translates into no bitterness at all. That may be good for some, but bad for those that like the hops bite. The after-taste is faint but sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, with a light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, mostly clean finish, but does leave a bit of a sticky residue.

D: This is the kind of beer that is drinkable because it’s got some flavor to it, but it isn’t over-powering. It’s not very filling at all and goes down quite easily. One of those beers that you “forget” you’re drinking. I think this beer can best be described as “how a micro does macro”. It was pretty good, but not out of the ordinary.

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Photo of Jason
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mini cobalt blue flip top bottle from the brewery.

A- As bright and as clear compared to all beers I have had, such a glowing golden color. Thin lacing leaves a few rings of lace down the glass and a semi-active carbonation rushes bubbles to the top.

S- Doughy biscuity malt, suggestions of red grape skin and a faint herbal hop.

T- Big dry malt character of Munich malt, lightly toasted with a ghost like grape skin flavor. Hint of dusty husk and a lemony herbal hop flavor, modest bitterness to keep the malt out front.

M- Bold crispness wrap its self around the malt in a perfect way.

D- We need more lagers like this in the NE, packed with flavor and so easy to drink.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

clear, bright golden hue, massive slab of snow-white foam, swiftly dwindling down...aroma is slightly sweet, but balanced and dry, ultimately, lightly hoppy, floral, herbal, nice.
Taste: smooth, effortless, slick and wet, small texture, but altogether satisfactory. Small hoppy edge, adequate malt, ample taste, but perfectly drinkable. Light bodied, but not skinny in the flavor department, nor is it in any way outward or lush, no, it's just right...and I'm liking it more, as I finish it off!...slightly buttery-sweet, though, but I'm not knocking that...
I can easily see this as the good beer you can serve to your friends who normally choose a macro lager or some such, they'll either be impressed by the total package and wowed by the taste, or won't know the difference.
Haven't had a bad Hooker yet, and this continues that trend!

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Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, pours light amber orange, mostly clear, some chill haze. White head, nice lacing going on. Nose is spicey and malt. Not real familiar with the style. Quite dry on the tongue, medium bodied. Notes of orange peel, pepper and some bready malt. Crisp, dry and refreshing. This brew is crying out for a nice salad and some cheese to mingle with. Another tasty concoction from Hooker.

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Photo of tempest
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Farmhouse, served in a pint glass.

It's clear, light gold in the glass with a short white head. The aroma immediately hits me with spicy, grassy Euro hops, with bready malts in the background. The flavor is spot on for the style with a mix of biscuit and light toast paired evenly with gentle, but spicy hops. While this beer isn't drastically different from other helles lagers in terms of the flavors present, I believe it stands out because everything is so rich as a whole. This beer is drinkable, yet more aromatic and full-flavored than many of the best in this style.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 22oz standard bomber. Poured a slightly cloudy golden with an excellent fluffy white head, but no real lacing. Retention was decent. The aroma was quite light and slightly dusty. Sweet cream and lager yeast were predominant. The taste was better with tangy malt and a crisp typical lager flavor with some apple on the finish. The mouthfeel is creamy and delicious. Good matched body for the style- a little heft, but not enough to overwhelm. Pretty nice- I've really enjoyed all the German styles from this brewery.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TheManiacalOne for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus foamy head, some sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slightly hoppy, some spicyness, and some caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, slightly spicy, and some caramel thrown in. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is another awesome brew from Thomas Hooker, they do a Helles justice, recommended.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with Wyllder. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a big ol' 2" slightly off-white head above the amber brew. Laces excellently, and aroma is mainly of pale malts, with an effervescent undertone. Taste is maltier than any other golden lager I've had, which is nice, and well-balanced. Mouthfeel and drinkability are excellent as well. Still wishing they could get these over the northern border, would make my daily brew choices that much harder.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap.

A: Poured a medium straw with light reddish hues and a thick, sticky white head that clung to the sides of the glass.

S: a light faint aroma of sweet malt and buttery toast.

T: For flavor there was lightly toasted grains, floral hopping and a light sweet maltiness.

M: The mouthful was light-medium bodied but crisp on the finish. There was a sligtht grainy texture.

D: A great semi-sweet malted lager that was crisp clean and left you waiting for the next sip.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.57/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Perfect shade of gold. A deep shade. Very slight haze is noted. It's kind of like looking at the sun on a hot and very hummid day. Nice stream of CO2 rising at a moderate pace. Decent crop of bone white head with good retention. Lace is adequate. Aroma seems sweet. Like hayfields. And candy. And yeast. And grains. The mouthfeel is full and round. The body is damn near full. Quite nice. And just the right amount of prickly carbonation. Flavor is quite bready. Nice yeast contributions. Sweetness is subdued, but present. And just a little snap of bitterness. Quite tasty. And quite drinkable as well. pbrian predicted that this growler wouldn't last an hour for me. Well it did, but not by much.

Thanks Paul.

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Photo of Durge
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A light yellow-orange brew with a slight head that fades quickly. Not much lacing going on. The aroma is vague, bread/wheat, suggests a light refreshing beer. The taste comes on with a lemon highlight and a murky hops, but I detect the sweaty socks syndrome. It has a peppery finish but there is a wheaty sweetness that grows on you as you get to the end. Friends seemed to like this quite a bit but I couldn't see the attraction. It's OK, reasonably refreshing but just not crispy enough for my tastes in this style. Hooker is excellent as a rule so it may be me more than the beer, just not my style.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.41/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sun driven gold with a small loosened white cap that crumbles at a steamy pace. Slow rising bubbles within tend to keep a light skim always present. Light stringy lace.

Soft aroma of sweet white bread grains and fresh doughy crusts. Slight grassy-like hopping.

Nice taster! Lovely sweet bready malts with a buttered corn crispness and tender grassy induced spice and mild bitterness. Pale malt finish with drying breadyness and lighter transference of dull caramel.

Gentle and firm well-rounded full-bodied, malt saturated feel. Tender carbonation; soft and chewyish. Solidly sweet with the white breads, but milded in tone enough for super extreme slopping down of this liquid. Nice addition of grass/spiced hops add an outstandingly fine balance. An excellent quaffer in which one bomber exceeds in its bounty and more then one is definately required and/or suitably easy to handle. Damn fine stuff!

Thanks to danadeny for the acquistions!

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Photo of woosterbill
2.59/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to vonschplieffen for letting me review this one from the cooler in his back yard.

A: Cloudy light amber body with 2 fingers of frothy, persistent off-white foam. I'd like a clearer lager, but it's got a great head - lovely retention and lace.

S: Hmmm. Underwhelming aroma of sulfur, cooked vegetables, metal, toasty malt, and herbal hops. Some good, some bad, all boring.

T: Follows the nose (sadly) - pretty sweet, with a hefty amount of minerality, DMS, and metallic flavor. Pretty disappointing, but at least it's not totally bland.

M: Smooth, lively body with lots of roiling carbonation. Pretty fun.

O: I was shocked - shocked! - to see the plethora of positive reviews for this beer, as I found it to be a highly flawed, thoroughly forgettable offering. Perhaps I got an old bottle or something; I'll have to look for it on tap. Until then, I'll be glad to stick with fresh Elm City whenever I feel like some light CT lager (I'll be the first to agree that Hooker Liberator is the best overall lager brewed in the state, if not the nation).


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Photo of Bierman9
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this in the fridge for a month or so, and last night opted to drain the 22oz bomber. No freshness date evident on the label anywhere.

Pours a clear, bright golden color, with plentiful, large carbo-bubbles rising steadily within. Head is off-white and creamy, laying in at about 1/2" and holding there a bit, until finally ebbing to a fine, thin layer. Sticks well down the glass during quaffing. as a robust nose of crackery malts with light sweetness, along with some lightly floral, grassy hop-action. A touch spicy, too, perhaps? This Hooker has a solid medium body, though with a sprinkle of prickliness on the tongue.

Nice malt evident here, a crackery/bready combo leaving a light coating of sweetness on the tongue, which lingers well. Hops are also well represented, with a super grassy aspect plus, again, a spicy, perhaps Saazy (?), character. Goes down quite well. Could do a Maß of this solid rendition easily.


overall: 4
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.5


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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice, crisp beer, perhaps a little more in line with a North American blonde ale than others in the style. Nice interplay of malt - barely to the sweet side with a touch of clover honey. Just the slightest hint of some orchard fruit - somewhat tart up front.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bottle, capped.

This Munich Helles lager poured a slightly hazy, golden to pale amber color with tall, creamy, off-white foam that persisted and clung to the glass in clumps. The smell was hops and malt with a touch of biscuit and a light floral hop aroma. The taste was bready malt with a light sweetness. There was a touch of vinous Munich malt present. It had a mild hoppiness throughout with a bit of floral hops layered on. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with medium body and modest carbonation. The bready-malty flavor lingered a while in the aftertaste. This was a nice, smooth, easy drinking lager, and it invoked memories of Germany. Thanks to ErikTheRed for this bottle.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.08/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Brass Rail Deli on 4/25/09.

A - Clear, heavily carbonated amber body with half a finger of creamy, off-white head that reduced to a thin film and left sparse but thick lacing around the glass.

S - Sweet malts and buttery diacetyl with some bready/grainy malt in the back. Hop presence is very faint. Pretty subtle aroma overall.

T - Sweet caramel malt up front with an unfortunate buttery diacetyl flavor. Some light leafy, noble hops attempt to conceal the buttery taste, but do so minimally. Maple syrup sweetness appears in the backend, followed by a grainy, bready malt character in the finish.

M - Light to medium bodied with a syrupy texture and moderate carbonation resulting in a slightly bristly mouthfeel overall. Mildly bitter on the palate with some residual sweetness.

D - Not bad, but a little too heavy on the butter flavor, unfortunately. Not overly crisp, either. The diacetyl really detracted from my overall enjoyment of this otherwise tasty style.

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Photo of wedge
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep gold with even chill haze and a thin, bubbly white head. Condensation is soaking the outside of the glass...damn its hot out (I love it). Toasted malt and grain aroma with a german hoppiness - got that "lagery" smell. Tastes toasty and pleasantly sweet. Light fruity notes and spiced noble hops balance it perfectly. Medium and smooth with a soft dryness.

Balance is what this lager is all about. Hits the spot on a hot summer evening but would be damn tasty anytime.

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Photo of Boto
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught: This one pours a clear, somewhat darker golden color. There was a bit of a white head to it, which lingered a little while. The aroma is very malty, but not overly sweet. Some hint of hops and floral notes in the background. The taste is very crisp and clean. Somewhat less than medium bodied. A good malt flavor, with some sweetness and a hint of hops. Makes you wonder why the big 3 can't make a lager this tasty.

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Photo of Deuane
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Copper kissed golden amber with a thin off-white head that reduced to a wispy veil and left sparse lace.

S-Touch of buttered biscuit, light hop spice and hint of fruit. All in all fairly subtle.

T-Sweet caramel malt up front with a touch of hop spiciness and a "bouncy" fruity note in the finish.

M-Medium-light bodied semi crisp with a building bisuit chewiness in the semi-sweet finish.

D-Not bad, a decent simple, straight forward lager. Decent flavour overall. I like the fruitiness in the background, whether intended or not.

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Photo of Todd
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz brown bomber bottle. No freshness date. Hazed stricken golden colored brew, topped with thick and tight white foam head with some gentle stick to the glass. Great head retention with this beer. Color seems to become more rich as the beer warms and the haze drops.

Sulfury nose with metallic notes, soft bready grain with herbal hops tucked in the background.

Light on the palate, and very smooth, with a carbonation that creams up on the palate. Thin-ish toasty / bready malts and a malty, not overly, sweet backbone. Light, refreshing citric hop snap and interesting hop herbal and slightly spicy edge that carries into the end, followed by hints of lemon grass with a thin oily coating. Nice grape fruitiness from the German malts. Finish is dry, with hints of powdery grain / husks and cracker. Sweetness really emerges as the beer warms and thickens up the mouthfeel - lovely stuff.

A damn tasty lager, with incredible drinkability, and an excellent crossover beer for your swill drinkin' pals. Probably my favorite out of all of the "lighter" Thomas Hooker offerings.

Let the American Craft Lager Revolution begin!

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am splitting this bottle with fellow BA Stopper. The beer pours a clear bronze color with a soft bleached white head. Looks nice.
Aroma is some lager malts with caramel and toffee representing. I also get some light floral hops. The aroma is not overpowering but is very pleasant.
First sip, beer is average bodied and has average carbonation levels. The bubbles are very fine and prickly on my tongue. Flavor is toffee sweet up front with a bit of grainy corn presence in themiddle and actually has a bit of a soapy astringent finish. The glass was thoroughly rinsed so I dont think it was residue in the glass. The beer is very smooth and easy to drink. QUite refreshing on a warm Sept evening. Another great beer from Thomas Hooker!

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Thomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.